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Messi suffers horrific tackle as Venezuela defender sent off during Argentina win in 2022 World Cup qualifying

Messi suffers horrific tackle as Venezuela defender sent off during Argentina win in 2022 World Cup qualifying

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The newly-signed PSG star was lucky not to suffer a broken leg in the CONMEBOL preliminary clash, but recovered to play the full 90 minutes

Lionel Messi was lucky to escape a serious injury as he went down after a harsh tackle against Venezuela in a 2022 World Cup qualifier.

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Argentina secured the three points with a 3-1 win against the home side in the qualiying match on Thursday.

Lionel Scaloni’s side suffered a nervy moment in the first half of the match, as Messi felt the full force of Luis Martinez’s challenge.

What happened?

The 34-year-old was charging towards the Venezuela box when Martinez stepped up to tackle him.

Messi knocked the ball past the defender, but Martinez followed through and his studs were planted into Messi’s shin.

The Paris Saint-Germain attacker’s leg bent backwards and he fell to the ground, leaving his team-mates and fans nervous about his condition.

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Did Messi play the full match?

Despite the grim tackle, Messi was able to carry on for the rest of the game.

It was the first match he had started since leading Argentina to Copa America success in July, while he had just 24 minutes of competitive action under his belt this season after coming off the bench to make his PSG debut on Sunday.

However  the ex-Barcelona hero did not manage to find the net against Venezuela, as Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa got the goals for the Albiceleste.

What happened to Martinez?

Martinez had just come off the bench to replace Jose Velazquez two minutes before he made the tackle on Messi. The 28-year-old was initially shown a yellow card for the foul but was soon dismissed after a VAR review.

The result leaves his side bottom of the World Cup qualifying group while Argentina are second, six points behind Brazil.

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